tv Cavuto on Business FOX News December 26, 2009 10:30am-11:00am EST
petsmart up 30% by national dog day, i don't know, somewhere in august. this is madison. oh, puppies. brenda: sometimes we're a zoo here. [captioning made possible by fox news channel] >> christmas bonus for a yes vote on healthcare? hello, everyone. i'm charles payne in for neil cavuto. look at the senate stocking suffers. $1 hundred million of state medicaid funds for nebraska after, of course, that state's senator, ben nelson, threatened to vote against the bill. $100 million for a new hospital that could go to senator chris dodd's home state of connecticut. and this whopper, $10 billion for community health centers around the country pushed by bernie sanders just days before he voted for the bill, the independent vermont senator told neil he wasn't all that interested in the bill. >> as of this point, i'm not
voting for the bill, and here's why. >> i'm sorry, circumstances you're not voting for it? >> as of this moment, i'm going do my best to make this bill a better bill, a bill that i can vote for, but i have indicated both to the white house and the democratic leader shape that my vote is not secure at this point. >> let's get reaction from ben stein, adam, joe, matt, and leigh. ben, what do you make of that? >> i think it's probably illegal. i think the bribes that are being paid to individual states, especially to nebraska, where the federal government is going to pay all of their state medicaid costs, i think that's illegal under the 14th amendment, which guarantees all citizens of the united states equal protection under the laws. if i were the governor of california, i'd sue, demanding that the federal government now pay all of california's medicaid bills. it's typical bribery, but it's been so raw, it's become so incredibly illegal that i think it rise thely to the level that merits legal action. >> matt, everyone is saying that this is business as usual,
but not only does this bill, to ben's point, this is so wrong, so unusual, but i think we have to brace for more to come once they merge these bills. >> yeah, you're right. there is probably more to come, and business as usual? i'm so sick of hearing that. why do we have to do what is business as usual? correct me if i'm wrong, when president obama ran for his campaign, wasn't he going to change business as usual? the only change i see is now it's bringing to light, as ben said, this is illegal, this is bribery, this is right out of "sopranos." >> what do you think? i mean, are these people really standing on principle, you know, a couple of weeks before they don't like a bill, then they get a goodie and like it? >> look, deal make sergeant lifeblood of legislation, just as is the lifeblood of bisms democrats saw victory within their eyesights, and they just needed to do whatever they had to do to get things done. >> you just said whatever they had to do, bribery. >> the shoe was on the other foot not too long ago in 2003, the last big healthcare entitlement bill, prescription drugs. republicans were in control,
and they pulled many of the same shenanigans. i think the vitriol is unprecedented because this is such a heated political debate, but this is not anything we haven't seen before. >> joe, what you know? >> wait a second. >> let me just go to joe one second. right now the country is on a precipice. we don't have any money, and yet all this money is being cold out for these pet projects. there's a lot of outrage out there. >> a tremendous amount, because we were supposed to be getting low cost, affordable healthcare for all americans. but if this were low cost, then why do the senators need to be opted out so they don't have to bear the cost? if this did not include rationing, then why does florida get a special deal to keep their program? if you can go through the whole list here. and so what this exposes is the fraud that's being perpetrated on the american people. if the democrats really care about how this works for the economy, rather, all they're seeing is now a program totally out of control. >> adam? >> charles, first of all, you know, ben, matt, joe, you're taking the classic pose that you're shocked that there's
gambling going on here. is it a good thing that this happens? >> no, not at all. american people are told that this was going to be a painful process, that we would come to an agreement on how to share the burden equally. but there's no equality in this particular package. it's opt out this one, opt out that one, let other 49 pay. this is not what people signed up for. >> you'll have the to show me where the line is that this was going to be a painless process, because legislation is never painless. there's going to be a lot of bickering. >> because the president of the united states also said he would not raise taxes. >> tens of millions of more people will get health insurance, which was the primary goal of this legislation. it's going to be cheap. >> at what cost can, adam? rising taxes, bigger deficit because you're giving us party line, which i've heard from every one of these phony senators -- >> let adam finish, pleesms >> let me make one last nonpartisan poifpblet charges the way you set up this conversation with the criminals
that you showed on the right-hand side of the screen, it was as if they are reaching into people's pockets and stealing money. they were appropriating that money for programs. i mean, the interesting thing you showed is being spent on the healthcare s. you can disagree with how it's being spent, but it's not being stolen. there's nothing illegal going on here, ben. i think this is a standard thirnings as she says. i think it's the idea of making one state a substantially lighter burden than another state that is illegal. i think we are guaranteed equal protection under the law no matter what state we live in, and i don't think we in california can be required to pay a heavier burden than people in nebraska or florida for the same program. i think that's going to go against it. i'll be very interested -- no, it isn't always unequal in terms of state by state. >> but ben, that's why we get rankings each year, and
governors say we pay more taxes than we get in return from the federal government, always complain about that. >> adam, with all due top your obvious intelligence and to leigm, my dear, dear friend, i've never seen a case before where one state simply was explicitly by law declared to have a lighter burden than other states and to cannot carry the burden of a program. >> also on that point, the rest of americans have to pay for this. i mean, this bill -- maybe the primary point that adam says to get more americans covered, but what about the second point of the bill? it was to bring down costs. this doesn't bring down costs tsm actually heaps it upon other people >> well, this all goes back to the debate of this bill much this is not about the sweeteners, and any senator that's complaining about having enough, everybody had leverage to ask for stuff. voters can go to their senator and complain they doesn't ask for more. >> bought this weasht -- this about fixing the healthcare system, bringing down costs and helping all snerns all they did was reshuffle the deck here.
>> it's reform that we neededed and it's a watered down version of what was initially planned, so, you know -- >> but joe, do you think this was reform that we needed? is that what we got? >> look, we should have gone with the simple point that we need to get portability, we need to get coverage for those preexisting, we need to identify what it would take to get there, and then let everybody participate in crafting some way where the burden is shared equally. what this points out to me is that we will get racksing, because florida will not allow the reduction in medicare advantage in their state to cut that deal. it will mean higher taxation for everybody, because states are pushing back, saying, including new york, that they can't afford it. >> joe, you mack a great point. the lie here is that we would get away with no increase in taxes, we would get away with everybody sharing the burden, and these guys are taking it all the way to the point where it's not about getting coverage for americans t. >> gentlemen, we got to change -- >> let adam get the final word here.
>> we got to change to the preexisting conditions. that's a good thing. and insurance companies engage in rationing every single day, all insurance companies do. >> the biggest rationer is medicare and medicaid, and now they're goldening them to take it one step further. this is an outrage. >> by the way, guys, it's not just everyone on this panel. if you guys are ticked out about all the goodedees in this healthcare bill, wait until next year. there's a 60% payroll tax that the forbes gang has uncovered, and why our 10% jobless rate may seem low when that hits. but passing healthcare reform putting a freeze on the green agenda? someone says yes, and that's great news. ooo
>> from america's news headquarters, hello, i'm greg jarrett. a tragic he happened in the search for the missing maryland girl. investigators now have found the body of 11-year-old sarah foxwell. she vanished on tuesday. her body was found yesterday near the delaware state line. police say they're focusing the investigation now on this man, thomas leggs jr., a registered sex offender. he was charged earlier in sarah's kidnapping, and officials say he is a former boyfriend of the girl's aunt, who is her legal guardian. a u.s. soldier has been killed in a christmas attack in afghanistan. the soldier died in the southern part of the country. it was a roadside bombing. meanwhile, the newly released videotape of captured soldier bergdal is prompting new calls
for him to be released. he was captured by the taliban six months ago. aim greg jarrett. now back to "cavuto on business" right here on fox news channel. >> hello, healthcare. goodbye, global warming taxes? republican senators say the bitter healthcare fight is going to make it harder to pass the democrats' climate change bill full of cap and trade taxes. matt, you think that's good for the economy? >> really good for the economy, because for once we can stop spending. this healthcare bill is the only good thing that came out of this. we're spending thrill yons on that. now we're not going to spend on dap and trade, because if that gets passed, that means higher taxes, more struggles for our manufacturerers in this country. so the fact that we're probably going to be a standstill in this congress and senate right now into next year on cap and trade is great for the economy. >> ben, you agree with that? do we just avoid the whole thing altogether and be good for the economy? >> well, we should get rid of cap and trade. it is a solution in search of a problem. it's quite clear now that the
whole idea that cap and trade was going to change the climate is just nonsense. the calculations are, if they put in as strkt as possible a verg, it will cost the economy trillions and change the global temperatures by something by 1,000th of one degree so. this is just a way to pay off the green people in the democratic party, to pay off the people in the gore camp and the obama camp who work on the and a half trade exchange. it's never seems to be mentioned that a close friend of president obama's going to run the cap and trade and become a billionaire. >> adam, what do you think about that? >> well, most reasonable people i talked to don't like this legislation. interestingly, it's not the greens who actually like it the most. it's the polluters who like it the most, because the way the legislation is crafted right now, they're going to get a big gimme at the fronet of this. i wouldn't sob quit to predict that this thing is going to fail. it's an imperfect piece of legislation, just like the healthcare bill, that may also pass for some of the reasons i was talking about. >> you know, joe, this cap and
trade thing, though, i don't know if there's any public support for it at all. >> oh, absolutely not. the problem here is that the house of representatives in the depths of a recession went ahead and forged a bill anyway. it's not going to go away. they have this majority, and as long as they have, it they're going try to weeled t. the problem is, if they don't go trade and trade, they'll go carbon tax. if they don't do that, the e.p.s. will usurp the congress and put in laws and regulations that harm the polluting industries that they deem are polluting. and so we will have this burden until we have a clean sweep and change in direction. so far, attitudally -- >> i thought you were going say until we have a clean environment. do we need this cap and trade? >> there's no question it's going to be more difficult to pass through all of the things on the agenda after the healthcare fight. but and a half trade, spefbling, you've got some different opposing forces that are actually united against this, which makes it even more difficult. you've got senators from coal producing states that are
democrats along with every single republican who's going to fight this. so i think it's going to be hard. i think it's also going to be hard because we've got other things to deal with, like financial reform. >> what about jobs? >> you know what? actually, i think the cap and trade bill -- you know, there is the possibility of job innovation from the bill. >> and losing jobs in the coal industry, so you're going create jobs, lose jobs. >> we got a jobs problem no matter what. >> look at consumers. consumers now in the united states are spending money that they have. we do not have any more money in the government. we cannot keep passing more bills that cost us more money. >> all righty, guys. i don't think we need to add to that. i agree. forget about all those big spenders on capitol hill trying save our economy. are the real economic heroes the big spenders on main street? we report, you decide. eeeee
>> lawmakers in d.c., millions of americans goosing the economy while hunting for post-holiday bargain this is weekend. meanwhile, politicians promising this respond billions more to juice up the economy when they get back from their holiday break. matt, which one of these will save our economy? >> i'm going to have to go with consumer. i think that the consumer is going save the economy. most surveys say we're going to have a gain of about 1% to 1.5% on holiday sales over last season. a great survey said 70% of americans will spend cash over credit cards. that means we're actually spend moaning that we have as well. i really think the holiday sales are going to get a boost, not even a storm last week can stop us. retail sales online of over 20% on that super saturday. >> you got all the stats. but what about history, adam? what do you think? do you think we should rely on the free market system or let
the government be the engine that could? ought a oh, gee, i think we should have a command and control economy for everything, charles. i'm joking, of course. we have a free market economy in this country. i think that we tend to get too bogged down in looking at the christmas numbers, which are relatively meaningless in the grand scheme of things. i think the trend going forward is that the consumer is not going to be the driver that it was for the last 10 years, because, you know, this example that matt gave, of people spending cash instead of credit, well, just common sense tells you that's going to mean they're going to spend less, because they're only spending what they have. >> but joe, here's the point, though. if people spend less, if there is this new normal, does that invite the government to continue to try to somehow trigger these spirits, you know, that have been missing from our economy? >> well, they're afraid of inflation in our economy, which a contraction brings about, so they will spend money in willie nilee fashions. that was why you had stimulus package number two.
$787 billion of commitments that did not keep unemployment from rising dramatically, and it will continue to rise in 2010. so look for them to throw more good money after bad, broaden out the deaf sirkts put more pressure on the dollar, and reduce, not increase the confidence, that the american people have in governance. and that's one of the more frightening aspects of this. >> ben, unemployment starts to level a little bit, stays around that 10% unemployment area, do you think people that do have jobs may step up to the plate and the government won't have to continue with these different programs? >> well, they better, because consumer spending -- i'm association i think he says ben -- consumer spending is something like 17% of total consumption in the united states so. if we don't have consumer spending rising, we are not going to have a recovery. look the economy recovers not because the government has some master plan hatched by rahm emanuel or some other genius at the white house. it recovers because 300 million americans make prudent decisions about when to save, when to pull their horns in, and when to spend. they're making a prudent decision now that things are getting better and they can spend a little more.
it's done by the decisions of individual americans, not by government bureaucrats. >> what do you think? >> well, i think the holiday sales were a blip. i think people were looking for emotional purchases this season, so they spent a little bit more. but i agree with adam. we're looking at long-term changes on behalf of the american consumer. >> what about the role of the government? the government has just spent all this money, and they don't have a lot to show for it. >> i think a lot of people are flush thanks to some of the things that we did this year. i think the government needs to help with jobs going forward, because that's the key thing for spending, which is 2/3 of the economy. >> how does the government help with jobs? we don't know yet. we'll have to see. >> government doesn't create long-term jobs. they give us money for still lutz, and we end up paying for it in the we understand higher taxes. the money is going around in sir kells. >> the government creates all sorts of long standing, sustainable government jobs. i'm not saying whether it's a
good job, they empty all sorts of people. you know that. >> adam, give us a couple of examples, please. >> i don't know. the national institutes of health, bureaucrats at the treasury department -- >> let me step in and help my dear friend, adam. the department of determination army marks reasons, air force, navy, coast guard, those are incrediblely important jobs, vital, the most vital jobs in the world, and the government creates them, policemen, firemen, those are the most important jobs in the world and the government creates them >> but one thing, joe, is that -- go ahead. >> i was just going to say that in this stimulus package earlier this year, 1/3 of the tonight went to 50 states to keep jobs in place that would have been lost because of budget cuts. well, that money rolls off and comes into 2010. so as the federal government going to replace that money so that again they can keep the firemen and the policemen on the local level? probably not, which means unemployment actually goes up because of the government program started one year ago.
>> and matt, i think at some point -- >> the economy is stabilizing, unemployment should be coming down, people with jobs should be paying their municipal taxes if all goes well, joe, and you know this. >> but the economy is not creating any jobs. this economy is not even starting to create new jobs. >> it does appear to be trending in the right direction, though. >> what, 10% is the right direction? are you kidding me? >> let me get back to matt here on the basic premise of this whole thing, though. consumers, shopping versus the government printing money or creating money. i mean, long term, which one is going bring this economy out of the doldrums? >> well, as ben brought up earlier, 70% comes from the consumer, so without the consumer, there is no recovery. so we will be spending -- and it comes down to one word, confidence. if the american people has confidence that things are get better going forward, they will spend on that premise. so i think we're seeing confidence come back, and that will lead us out of recovery. government will not lead us out of this recovery, unfortunately.
>> i agree with part of that, but when the government spends, it does put money in consumers' pockets, and it does also spur consumer spending. right now they're confident, yes, because the economy is turning around because of the stock market. >> but where is that money coming from? >> guys, let's leave it right there. i want to say thank you to lee for hanging out with us. tired of all those christmas presents? stick around for our stock gifts.
>> did you really new tie or toaster oven? there's no need to get into the return line for our stock presents. joe, what do you have? >> managed care companies once again took advantage of this congress, so united health healthcare is my pick. they're making an attractive valuation right now. >> adam, what do you think? >> i actually like it a lot. my only quibble is it's had a nice run out of this relief, and it's at a high. maybe it will pull back and there will be a better time. >> what do you like, adam? >> d.b.a., which is an agriculture e.t.f. there's not going to be a bad time in the next 20 years to own agriculture. the world needs more feed. >> joe, what do you think of that one? >> problem is we don't have a metric toss measure this again. the momentum has given lift in the stock. i think 2010 we won't have that, so i'm bearish now. >> matt? >> i'm going to give you the one thing nobody wants, coal.
alpha natural resources, third largest coal producer in the united states. largest metallurgical coal producer, so this is a bet on the economy turning around 2010 as steel explodes, big demand from china, great earnings as well. >> ben, warren buffett bought a train company, a lot of people said that he wants a bet on coal too. do you like it? >> i don't that much. one, alpha natural resources, which is the same as a.n.r., it's got no economic motor. anybody can step in and compete with it all the time. it's already had a fantastic move. it is way overpricededed compared with morning star and target. everything that is known about the stock is already in the price f. economy starts to revive, the soft coal people are going to be pouring in. >> what's your pick, ben? >> vanguard total world stock exchange. the two smartest people i know that i seats the only stock market fund you need to have. i believe them. >> ben, i thought i was the smartest manager you know. i don't like t. a little too boring. i want exposure to emerging markets in 2010. >> it's in there.